I’m From New York, NY.

by Chris L.

Satellite overhead image of New York State from Google Earth 2022

When I was 18, I was just starting to realize I was gay. I had always known I was different, but in truth I had never shown much interest in sex. Then one day when I was 17 a switch had been thrown on and suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

One day I was riding a bus with a friend and we were talking about the environment (it was a passion of mine). A very cute boy in front of us turned around and jumped into the conversation. When our stop came up, the cute boy quickly scribbled out his number and asked me to call him.

That night I was so nervous as I walked back and forth across my bedroom wondering if I should call and why did he want me to call and why I was so nervous in the first place. I waited a day and called him. We talked for 3 hours about everything, except anything having to do with being gay or sex.

We decided to meet the following Saturday. We met at a movie theater and again I couldn’t get over how cute he was. I was tall and too thin (6’3 and 160lbs) with blond hair and blue eyes. He was much shorter (around 5’10), built with brown hair and blue eyes and a great smile. He gave off barely controlled energy, like if he sat still for a minute he would explode.

We walked all over NYC and 9 hours later ended up in Central Park. We laid down on these large rocks and watched as the sun set. Then he reached over and kissed me. I had never kissed anyone before and we kept at it till I got really good at kissing (his words). We kept the action “R” rated. James (his name) had dated a couple of guys before and knew what he was doing. I was totally new to everything and started to freak out as things got too intense and made him put the brakes on.

We used our backpacks as pillows and fell asleep under the stars (so dangerous). We woke up the next morning and said our goodbyes. I didn’t want to leave him, but I stank and was tired and also very worried about the verbal beating I would get once I got home and encountered my mother (who I am sure had called the police by now). I arrived home at 7am and no one was awake yet. I went to bed and at 11am woke up with my mother knocking on my door.

She wanted me to run to the store and wanted to know why I was still asleep. Turns out that she had gone to bed early the night before with a headache and slept in late. She had no idea I was out all night.

James and I talked the whole week by phone and the next weekend we met once again on a Saturday morning. We went to a hotel and watched as someone checked out of their room, carrying all their bags, and then James went to the cleaning lady and said that their dad had just checked out, but we left something behind and could we just quickly go in. She can follow us in if she wanted to. She agreed to let us in, but went right back to work down the hallway. We tore the covers off the bed and undressed and made love. We didn’t do everything. He had wanted to, but I really was very inexperienced and the thought of anal sex was scary. I wasn’t worried about diseases (he was 17 and I was 18 after all), but I was worried about the pain and was confused by the whole act.

After an hour we left the hotel and went to all the museums where we could either sneak in or where it was free. James loved attention and soon we were holding hands as we walked down the street. Our kissing, which was at first kept to the shadows, was soon done in full view.

A month later I rented a motel room and we did everything that night. I learned how to relax and breathe and how incredible sex could be.

We dated for almost a year. I went to college locally, but when he graduated high school he decided to go away to school. We were riding a subway back to Brooklyn where he lived and we said our goodbyes. The door opened and he got out and waved goodbye to me. The train rolled away and I realized he was gone. What was also gone was the 3 science fiction novels I had just purchased and had asked him to hold onto for me while we walked around the city for the last time. So I had lost my first boyfriend and also $15 in books.

I was so glad that my first sexual experience was also my first love and my first relationship. Too often I heard from friends about how they couldn’t remember the name or face of the first guy they had sex with. Sometimes the stories are filled with self loathing, pain or rape. I am so happy that my first time was so special.

The next decade I met a lot of gay men, dated a lot, slept around a lot and spent way too much time in chat rooms. A funny thing started to happen to me. The universe started to give me signs that it was time to leave NYC. I had a friend move to Austin, Texas. A cute guy wore a University of Texas T-shirt on our “date”. The word Austin kept popping up everywhere. Then my landlord told me my rent was going to be increasing and a week later my company let me know they were downsizing and moving out of NYC. I was given a severance package and as I sat on a train trying to decide what to do next a mother yelled out, “Austin, get over here!” to her child who had wandered off.

I decided to move to Austin, TX. I stayed with my friend down there as I looked for a job. Within one month I had my dream job that I still have to this day and a guy who worked in the same building as me turned out to be gay. We started to date, and in October we will have been together for 10 years.

Life is good.

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