FLAME ON! Q: In your August 2009, “Mom Of The Month,” Gretchen Losi says of her son, “Wes was a flamer.” I’m gay and I’m writing a gay/transgender-interest novel. Will I get in trouble referring to any of my characters in my fictional world as a “flamer”? I don’t want to offend, but sometimes people in a group or community refer to members of themselves using labels they wouldn’t want outsiders to refer to someone as being.
Byron Mace in Kokomo, IN
A: As overprimed for drama as we homos are? Why, of course you’re going to offend someone. And I say fuck ’em. It’s your book, girlfriend, so you’re allowed to make anyone in it as queeny as you want. Also, as you said, a novel creates a fictional world, so whatever gets expressed is through a character’s viewpoint (including the narrator’s), which isn’t necessarily the author’s. And finally, just by asking this question, you’ve demonstrated concern for our community, so I’m betting your sensitivity will prevail in your writing. If not, screw you! And I mean that in an inoffensive way!
LIKE A VIRGIN Q: I’m 18 and still a virgin. For sure, I want to have sex and a boyfriend. But the thing is, when I try to have sex with a guy, I get really nervous, unsure, and I just can’t do it. The same thing happens with relationships. I’m just scared with gay relationships. Even worse, I’m not comfortable hanging around gay people. Help me!
Anatoly in Australia
A: Until you become comfortable with yourself as a gay man, you’re not going to be comfortable hanging around other gay people. And until you become comfortable with yourself as a human being, dear one, the relationship thing isn’t going to work either. You’re only 18, so while it’s possible there could be physical reasons for your difficulty with having sex when you’re with a guy, I’d bet rent-boy money that ain’t the case and it’s your discomfort with the whole being-gay thing that’s getting in your way. So my advice to you is that you find a way to like Anatoly a whole lot more just the way he is. And that includes liking the part of you that is gay. I have a difficult assignment for you: challenge yourself to find a mentor. A mentor is a person with whom you can have a trustworthy nonsexual relationship, someone who is comfortable in his own skin, and who can help you relax and learn about yourself as you spend time with him. You probably won’t find a mentor overnight, so don’t get too discouraged. Remember, all the things you’re yearning to be able to have in your life won’t happen quickly either. It’s a process, and you’ll make mistakes along the way, just like all the rest of us did. And every one of ‘em will bring you a little closer to being in a healthy and loving relationship with yourself and, from there, with other people. In terms of what to do with all your natural 18-year-old sexual energy in the meantime, well, that’s why God made porn, darling.
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WHEN WIFE’S AWAY…
Q: How do I find a man in my age bracket (60) while having a wife who wants to know where I am at all times? I’ve always wanted to find out how it would be to be with a man and feel that I will have missed out on something I would really love to try.
Jim in Patchogue, NY
A: Jim, do you think I’d subvert the resources of a respected national magazine (or even this magazine) to abet you in committing adultery? Do you really expect me to assail the sanctity of marriage by mentioning tawdry gay hookup websites, like SilverDaddies.com, specializing in men your age and their admirers? I am shocked—shocked!—that you’d ask a person of my high moral fiber to tell you about the number of discreet online male escort services in Manhattan, only 90 minutes away by the Long Island Expressway from where you live there in Patchogue, which is itself a mere hop, skip and ferry ride from Fire Island, fer cryin’ out loud! If you’re gonna cheat on your wife with a dude, you’ll figure it out like other straight men have been doing for millennia. Of course, if the wife wants to always know your whereabouts, she already knows something’s up. Good luck with that.
Think relationship guru JOEL PERRY has the answer? Joel’s here for you. E-mail him at
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