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  1. #1
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Declaring Baggage

    So, I'm a late-comer to the gay dating scene (former closet case) and I have a question for all you lovely JUB folks. I have a lot of personal issues (depression, chronic illness, etc) that are going to weigh on any relationships I may have. At the same time, I realize that nothing's more unattractive than someone who goes about in pity for themselves-- and that's not who I am: I don't let my illnesses define me (even with rheumatoid arthritis at age 26, I go to the gym and still out-lift most guys I know my age)

    I realize this stuff is obviously not first/second/third date material (very unattractive), but at some point, I feel like a fraud if I'm not up front about it. I don't want to "lure" someone into a relationship with me, only to have them find out, after they've developed feelings for me, that I'm damaged goods. I have a pretty low opinion of myself, but feel like it's warranted (when guys try to hook up with me, all I can think is, "Are you really that drunk?").

    Gay relationships have their issues just like straight ones, but I feel like in gay relationships there's more opportunity to be up front and honest about things from the start. So what would you all suggest?

  2. #2
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Okay, there are two issues here:


    1. People will ALWAYS pick up on your low self-esteem, and that will ALWAYS push them away. From the way you describe yourself, you're obviously analytical, and have string awareness of yourself and others. You also express yourself well here, and you say you're fit. That's already THREE major attractive qualities, anymore than MANY happily coupled guys have. Don't ignore them just for the sake of feeling bad for yourself. And if you can't overcome this on your own (I don't know how strong your depression is), seek professional help - there's no shame in that.

    2. As for letting people know of your problems, I think a third or fourth serious date is a good mark to aim at. The point when it's clear there will be more dates, but you aren't yet "seriously" into each other, but recognize the potential. And I would go about it naturally - not dumping everything, just holding an honest conversation.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  3. #3
    JUB Addict HunterM's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Questions you need to ask yourself are: "Am I in control of my own life?" "Am I able to manage my own baggage instead of letting my baggage run my life?" "Have I overcome some of them? Have I turned the corner?"

    To me, nothing is sexier than self-confidence...especially knowing someone who overcame adversity and is living a full life in the present...having the ability to manage issues in life.

    I agree with Rolyo85. Until you are seriously dating someone a few times, don't mention your baggage.

  4. #4
    JUB Addict HunterM's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    When it is time to declare your baggage...if you say it with the attitude as if it is a badge of honor or courage/strength to overcome that issue, most people will not run away.

  5. #5

    Re: Declaring Baggage

    I don't think you need to disclose all of your baggage on the first date, but do think sooner than later things about yourself can come up in casual conversation as you are talking/getting to know each other...that is if you are dating with the intent of finding someone to be in a relationship with. I agree that these things do not define you, but they have contributed to make you into the person that you are and are important aspects in your life. It's all a matter of how you work it into the conversation....I mean if you speak about them in a defeatist manner and as a disability, then the guy would look at you as a real downer. If you speak about them in a manner that you are taking positive steps to counteract these issues, the guy may look at you as a fighter and positive person that can handle and face the challenges that life brings on. Spin it in your favor.

    I agree with Rolyo in that your self esteem is more likely to be an issue with a guy than your ailments and that he is likely to pick up on that way before you even get around to talking about your other issues. Work on building your self confidence. Stop questioning why a guy is interested in you...accept that he is and roll with it. There are obviously positive attributes about you that he finds attractive or he wouldn't even be interested in you...you know!? Stay positive and project that image outwardly...tell yourself that you are worthy of finding love/a decent guy. You do that everyday and sooner than later you'll believe it and live it.
    Bad decisions make good stories.

  6. #6
    nerd of prey hylas's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    i think the right moment to bring up your depression in when it "starts to feel more serious". when exactly that moment is depends on how you date.

  7. #7
    Porn Star Brian Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Just admit outright that you are "less than perfect." You don't have to do into detail, but you don't want to hook up with someone who would throw you out for not being Wonder Boy. I would suggest saying that even if you were perfect. It weeds out prima donnas.

    There is nothing more useless in this world than a man who is looking for a unicorn...a unicorn being something pristine and perfect that you don't have to put any effort into, never have to forgive or show understanding for, and gives you everything you want. You are not going to find a unicorn if you are looking for one, and you really don't want to date a guy who is looking for one.

    Anyway, I am not going to say "there is nothing wrong with you" because you would know that I am a liar. However, the fact that you are conscious of the fact that you have imperfections is a redeeming quality in your character. It shows that you realize that, to make a relationship work, you have to do something to make yourself worthwhile to a man. You don't have to be perfect.

    If a man can accept up-front that you are not Mr. Sunshine and Rainbows, he will forgive you for the little details as he gets to know you. Again, if a man can't accept someone who is a human being with human limitations, that person is probably not very worthwhile anyway, even if you actually were a unicorn. Huh, that's why people who search for unicorns never find them.

    And unicorns do exist. I have caught passing glimpses of them. Quite a sight.
    Last edited by Brian Smith; February 10th, 2013 at 12:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Okay, there are two issues here:


    1. People will ALWAYS pick up on your low self-esteem, and that will ALWAYS push them away. From the way you describe yourself, you're obviously analytical, and have string awareness of yourself and others. You also express yourself well here, and you say you're fit. That's already THREE major attractive qualities, anymore than MANY happily coupled guys have. Don't ignore them just for the sake of feeling bad for yourself. And if you can't overcome this on your own (I don't know how strong your depression is), seek professional help - there's no shame in that.

    2. As for letting people know of your problems, I think a third or fourth serious date is a good mark to aim at. The point when it's clear there will be more dates, but you aren't yet "seriously" into each other, but recognize the potential. And I would go about it naturally - not dumping everything, just holding an honest conversation.
    I hear what you're saying about self-confidence being detected, but in my case, I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I project that (even if I think it). It would certainly shock most of my closest friends if they read what I just wrote. But that's the thing, once you get intimate with someone, they'll learn things you can keep from everyone else. I like the date #3/4 idea (or the point where you've gotten close enough that to not talk about it, would be hiding it).

    Now, here's a thornier issue I didn't mention, but it's related. What about...size issues? And I'm not talking about embarrassment/confidence etc, so much as sheer mechanics: at just under 5", I'm gonna be an exclusive bottom by default. Obviously, lots of guys identify as either/or and that stuff comes up naturally. But when it does come up, should I say something about *why* I'm an exclusive bottom? Cause if he identifies as a 'top', but even remotely thinks (consciously or not) that someday he just might want to get fucked... he's gonna have to look elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Um, 5 might be on the smaller side, but it's more than enough to do the job. You may have to have him lube up a bit more and be more precise with the pullout But other than that, you shouldn't assume any "default" things. While some people might care about size, many won't, and it's not really their business until you're in bed, or just before. I mean, if anything sex-related will be a problem, it WILL be a problem regardless of when and how you talk about it. And if it won't be a problem, why bother discussing it in advance?
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  10. #10
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Um, 5 might be on the smaller side, but it's more than enough to do the job. You may have to have him lube up a bit more and be more precise with the pullout But other than that, you shouldn't assume any "default" things. While some people might care about size, many won't, and it's not really their business until you're in bed, or just before. I mean, if anything sex-related will be a problem, it WILL be a problem regardless of when and how you talk about it. And if it won't be a problem, why bother discussing it in advance?
    "Lube up more" and "Precise with the pullout"--for a smaller cock? Lol, you'll have to explain what you mean--not sure I get it.

    The problem I foresee, from my own experience with toys, is that 3.5-4" (which is what I get functionally) isn't a comfortable length at all. Not to mention a thin girth....I don't know, I don't see it happening (people say it's hard to get good penetration even w/an average cock, just the shape of the ass and all). But as far as actual sex I'm not one to talk

  11. #11
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Well, positions would be limited, of course. But the lube-up thing was so that tightness doesn't push you out, and same with the pullout - when you're going out, you don't wanna reach too far.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  12. #12
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Well, positions would be limited, of course. But the lube-up thing was so that tightness doesn't push you out, and same with the pullout - when you're going out, you don't wanna reach too far.
    Ohhh I see, because I'm not gonna make it far past the sphincter, I'm liable to get pushed out. Lol, my only "gay" experiences at this point are with toys, so certain things don't always occur to me. I hear what you're saying, but honestly, I don't see any feasibility in my ever trying to top.

    So, I'd really like to know from you guys: when the subject of topping-bottoming comes up, should I say why I'm an exclusive bottom?

    Now, when it comes to oral, I'm obviously not saying anything beforehand like "Oh, please excuse my small penis." Total turnoff, and unnecessary: he can judge for himself whether he wants to keep seeing me or not. So...he'll probably already know I'm small, but is there a point where I need to directly acknowledge it, so it's not the "elephant in the room ?"

  13. #13
    nerd of prey hylas's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    i think youre overthinking it. just get some experience under your belt. both dating and sex can be tricky. sometimes it goes effortlessly and smoothly, but more often, theres also embarassment, clumsiness, mistakes, heartbreak... i dont want to scare you or anything, but the only way you can learn about it is by doing it. listen to your instincts and move at your own speed, but dont be a coward.

    youre not too small to top, if thats what you want.

  14. #14
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by hylas View Post
    i think youre overthinking it. just get some experience under your belt. both dating and sex can be tricky. sometimes it goes effortlessly and smoothly, but more often, theres also embarassment, clumsiness, mistakes, heartbreak... i dont want to scare you or anything, but the only way you can learn about it is by doing it. listen to your instincts and move at your own speed, but dont be a coward.

    youre not too small to top, if thats what you want.
    First, I love your animations: clicked the link to your site. Reminds me of the illustrations on the Hermes website (which I love), but way, way more sexy. Gay-sexy and whimsical at the same time...an awesome combo (esp the guy rimming a dude smoking, and he's holding his ashtray for him. Love it.)

    As far as over-thinking things, no argument here. But that's sorta the whole point of my post-- I'm trying to "over-think" things ahead of time, so I have some way to deal with them. I don't wanna sound whiny (that's not who I am in real-life) but I have a lot of issues that are gonna make finding a long-term mate a near miracle. As far as sex, I may well be wrong, but my experience with toys tells me that being a top with 5.0/4.9 cock (and a ballsack that gets in the way) is a total no-go. Contrary to my initial post, I think this is perhaps at the root of my other issues, because of the sexual ramifications--they're so immediate and can 't help but be noticed. Have you been with a small guy before? And if so, was there a way you handled it? I guess I just can't see myself getting very far sexually without some acknowledgement of the elephant in the room

  15. #15
    nerd of prey hylas's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    oh thanks, so nice to hear! im glad you like my work.

    anyway, yes, ive been with shorter guys, and its not a problem. if anything, its easier. there are no elephants in any rooms.

    you cant avoid clumsiness in sex (or rejection, for that matter) by thinking about it. its like trying to learn to ride a bicycle by thinking about it really hard. its not possible. at one point, you just have to get on the bike and ride the fucker, and yes, you probably will land in the bushes once or twice.

    the good news is that you never have to do anything youre not ready for. and youre not alone in this, you know. sex involves two people. find someone you trust and who is good to you, and be honest about your lack of experience, and he will guide you through it... and not make a big deal if you step in it once or twice (or thirty times).

  16. #16
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by hylas View Post
    oh thanks, so nice to hear! im glad you like my work.

    anyway, yes, ive been with shorter guys, and its not a problem. if anything, its easier. there are no elephants in any rooms.

    you cant avoid clumsiness in sex (or rejection, for that matter) by thinking about it. its like trying to learn to ride a bicycle by thinking about it really hard. its not possible. at one point, you just have to get on the bike and ride the fucker, and yes, you probably will land in the bushes once or twice.

    the good news is that you never have to do anything youre not ready for. and youre not alone in this, you know. sex involves two people. find someone you trust and who is good to you, and be honest about your lack of experience, and he will guide you through it... and not make a big deal if you step in it once or twice (or thirty times).
    So you were with them where they topped, and no issues? Wow. You know what's funny though: I totally *want* to be a bottom. Conceptually, it's the role I relate to; in dreams, I'm always the one getting ravished by my mate. But I just can't get my ass to enjoy the feeling, at least not with toys (but that's a post for a different thread).

    Hylas: I *love* the drawing of the guy rimming his mate while holding his ashtray. Do you ever print your designs on ceramic or porcelain? I would love to buy a set of ashtrays with that print on them. Should I PM you for more info?

  17. #17
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    I'll let you in on a little secret. Topping and bottoming - while somewhat based on physicality - are largely the product of personality. So your attitude will have already told the guy you are a bottom without the need to discuss it. And if the question does come up, just say "versatile", but prefer to bottom.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  18. #18

    Re: Declaring Baggage

    With regards to topping/bottoming...I also think that it's something more within you that either says 'I want to fuck' or 'I want to be fucked'...unless you are truly versatile. But still...if you are versatile, then you're denying yourself the pleasure of topping by taking on this attitude already that you're resigning yourself to be a bottom. There are no rules to this...smaller guys can be tops and give pleasure to the bottom (as long as he's not a size queen.) It's all just a matter of positions and techniques. Plus...sex is supposed to be fun and be mutual give and take. Talk to the guy, be open, let him know that you aren't well experienced in that regard and want to experiment and learn. It takes the pressure of you and it gives him the opportunity to say I like this, let's try this, etc. As long as each of you are getting your rocks off and having fun...nothing else really matters. It doesn't need to be performed like in the porn movies to be good.
    Bad decisions make good stories.

  19. #19
    I'm now a grandfather! JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    All of us have issues and personality traits that affect potential relationships and continue to impact one relationships develop. Dating is a revealing process so reveal yourself gradually. Size ought not be the determine factor as to whether or not one is a top or bottom. Plenty of hung guys prefer throwing up their legs. Just do what comes naturally without making excuses. Good luck!
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

  20. #20

    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Gee your post exemplifies the paradigm of intolerance that is so prevalent in gay culture especially today. I suffer from it as does everyone here. Those that say they do not are either lying or mentally disordered. That being said, you have to maneuver through the hairpins and chicanes that are the gay "culture" roadway. The illness issue is something you cannot deny. It is what it is. You really didn't expound as to the scope of the illness issue. If you are seeing a guy and get the feeling it's going "somewhere" , you then need to be up front with him commensurate with the direction the relationship is going. I don't think it is incumbent on you to disclose your entire medical history to someone you are just getting to know. As you get more involved with the guy, disclose more and judge the reaction. Some people have no patience with illnesses. Such a person would not be a good pick for you.

    As to the penis size issue, this is a constant source of problems for men, gay or straight. When I was young I like most everyone bought into the concept of penis size as a metric for the respective guy's manliness or sexual prowess. That is completely untrue. Penis size like height or eye color is determined by genetics. It has nothing to do with masculinity or sexual function or dysfunction. I will say that guys with larger penises have a air of self confidence. Whether that is real or perceived is up for debate.

    I knew a guy a few years back that was so obsessed with his penis size or lack thereof, he spent thousands on a very risky surgery to increase the size, actually the length. It worked to a point, I suppose, with a host of repercussions. First being it only increased the length by a half of an inch. The second he suffered from loss of sensation. The third thing was he actually had a numb spot which became permanent. The fourth was a horribly ugly scar that got infected which just exacerbated the entire ordeal. The lesson learned is your penis size is the luck of the draw.

    If a guy is so shallow as to let penis size dictate his feelings toward you then it goes without saying he probably isn't the guy for you.

  21. #21
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by Durango95 View Post
    Gee your post exemplifies the paradigm of intolerance that is so prevalent in gay culture especially today. I suffer from it as does everyone here. Those that say they do not are either lying or mentally disordered. That being said, you have to maneuver through the hairpins and chicanes that are the gay "culture" roadway. The illness issue is something you cannot deny. It is what it is. You really didn't expound as to the scope of the illness issue. If you are seeing a guy and get the feeling it's going "somewhere" , you then need to be up front with him commensurate with the direction the relationship is going. I don't think it is incumbent on you to disclose your entire medical history to someone you are just getting to know. As you get more involved with the guy, disclose more and judge the reaction. Some people have no patience with illnesses. Such a person would not be a good pick for you.

    As to the penis size issue, this is a constant source of problems for men, gay or straight. When I was young I like most everyone bought into the concept of penis size as a metric for the respective guy's manliness or sexual prowess. That is completely untrue. Penis size like height or eye color is determined by genetics. It has nothing to do with masculinity or sexual function or dysfunction. I will say that guys with larger penises have a air of self confidence. Whether that is real or perceived is up for debate.

    I knew a guy a few years back that was so obsessed with his penis size or lack thereof, he spent thousands on a very risky surgery to increase the size, actually the length. It worked to a point, I suppose, with a host of repercussions. First being it only increased the length by a half of an inch. The second he suffered from loss of sensation. The third thing was he actually had a numb spot which became permanent. The fourth was a horribly ugly scar that got infected which just exacerbated the entire ordeal. The lesson learned is your penis size is the luck of the draw.

    If a guy is so shallow as to let penis size dictate his feelings toward you then it goes without saying he probably isn't the guy for you.
    Yes, yes, and yes. I read so many wonderful posts on here about the reciprocality of sex, how relationships are founded on understanding and openness, and I just...well, I've never been in a gay relationship, so maybe I'm not one to talk, but looking around at my gay friends and the convos that go on around me...this just isn't the picture I see. And that's why I posted this. In gay culture, I do *not* see a culture that's forgiving of imperfection at all. I count myself blessed that I'm gay on account of my cock size -- lord knows I'd never satisfy a woman -- but that doesn't mean it won't still be a big issue amongst gays, esp if I can't conform to being some kind of power-bottom.

    But I guess in some ways, I don't blame anyone but myself. If I was in a position to choose (ie if I was an attractive, nice enough, sociable gay) I wouldn't date me either. I mean why settle for damaged goods?

    Oh and re: the penis surgery-- amen. I once looked into it and was horrified. I do hope any small guys reading this think twice about it, given the risks. At least we're not straight-- then having a small penis really *would* be the end of the world

  22. #22
    JUB Addict MindBlast's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Keep in mind that anal sex isn't the only sex. Not even every guy likes it.

    Also, a date isn't a customs screening, you don't have to declare your baggage. In fact, it's a turnoff if you air everything right away.

    Penis size isn't that important either. Unless the guy is a total size queen, he's going to want to be with you if he likes you. If you like someone enough, you work around 'issues' like that.
    Last edited by MindBlast; February 16th, 2013 at 12:51 AM.

  23. #23
    Slut rm71182's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by MindBlast View Post
    Keep in mind that anal sex isn't the only sex. Not even every guy likes it.

    Also, a date isn't a customs screening, you don't have to declare your baggage. In fact, it's a turnoff if you air everything right away.
    Yeah that's such a good point: it is not a customs check (despite the naive title of my post). Thanks to the replies here, which have been so helpful and constructive, I'm really gonna try to let these issues just come up organically. I dont know if itll work, but I 'll try.

    Someone asked earlier about the extent of my illness(s): I would say pretty bad, but not in a way that would interfere with my loving someone if we got really close (I'd be up for doing all the things they wanted to, meet their friends, have fun--even have lots of sex if we can work out top/bottom situation. I just dread the morning where they open my medicine cabinet, looking for Advil, and find a pharmacy's worth of antidepressants and painkillers.

    That, and when we first have sex and they see how small I am and realize the reason I said I was an exclusive bottom wasn't just bc I liked that role

  24. #24
    I'm now a grandfather! JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: Declaring Baggage

    I'm glad you posted and glad you found the comments left by others helpful. Porn can have us all thinking that penises are all large and thick. They're not. I hope the day arrives soon when your fears will be allayed. Best wishes. You sound like a really nice man.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

  25. #25

    Re: Declaring Baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by rm71182 View Post
    Yes, yes, and yes. I read so many wonderful posts on here about the reciprocality of sex, how relationships are founded on understanding and openness, and I just...well, I've never been in a gay relationship, so maybe I'm not one to talk, but looking around at my gay friends and the convos that go on around me...this just isn't the picture I see. And that's why I posted this. In gay culture, I do *not* see a culture that's forgiving of imperfection at all. I count myself blessed that I'm gay on account of my cock size -- lord knows I'd never satisfy a woman -- but that doesn't mean it won't still be a big issue amongst gays, esp if I can't conform to being some kind of power-bottom.

    But I guess in some ways, I don't blame anyone but myself. If I was in a position to choose (ie if I was an attractive, nice enough, sociable gay) I wouldn't date me either. I mean why settle for damaged goods?

    Oh and re: the penis surgery-- amen. I once looked into it and was horrified. I do hope any small guys reading this think twice about it, given the risks. At least we're not straight-- then having a small penis really *would* be the end of the world
    I'm glad you found something of merit in my post. I try to be as honest as possible. I don't understand the "damaged goods" comment. I'm not going to drone on about self image etc. Everyone is hard on themselves. Well everyone that isn't mentally disordered. I find it fascinating that those that obsess over negative body image issues exhibit the exact same behavior as those that have an inflated self image. It is something to ponder.

    That being said, here's some free advice. The penis size issue is non starter. It does seem to bother you quite a bit though. The creams, pills, and devises do not work. The surgery while being incredibly expensive offers little more than the preceding. Both "remedies" can have devastating effects. So you have what you have. I would recommend shaving or at least clipping down there. It will make you look bigger. Get creative. Maybe use body makeup if you're up for it. Fitness models use it all the time to "enhance" their appearance, especially when doing nude work. It does work for the look only.

    Now if there are other areas you can improve, do so. I mean anything. Have a make-over. Even though it is superficial it can really elevate your spirits. Buy a new frock. When I'm feeling particularly low I usually buy a car. HAHA There is nothing like a big bright red penis on wheels that was made in Germany to make you feel better.

    I'm not being condescending but when you keep saying "damaged goods" it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You mentioned you went to the gym. That is always a good place to start. I meet guys there all the time.

    I know the pain of arthritis myself. I have osteoarthritis and gout. I have to wear knee braces and wrist supports all the time. It sucks big time. The thing I think is kind of funny about it is that I've worked out all my life. The weight training actually aggravates the condition when done too much. Then they tell you to exercise to improve the condition. I wish that made more sense to me.

    You sound like a nice guy just trying to get started. The club scene is not a good place to start. They are usually the havens of the most vapid tiresome intolerant bigoted queens in the universe. "Theme" bars are the worst. I'd say stick with the gym or a real bookstore, as opposed to a porn shop. That is if you are a bookworm.

    Don't look at it like your hunting for someone. Just have a bit of fun. The rest will follow.
    Last edited by Durango95; February 16th, 2013 at 11:59 AM.

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