Neil Pearson (our resident gay fireman) wonders why he isn’t getting any as he approaches the third anniversary of his last date.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my job.
No two days are the same, I have two ‘appliances’ (fire engines to you laymen) full of power toys to play with and we get to do some pretty cool shit.
Granted, and mercifully very rarely, we have to fish a corpse out of a reservoir or something equally horrific.
And like every service orientated job, there are a handful of complete dickheads I have to deal with.
Mostly though, I thoroughly enjoy it.
At work, as with any group of men, whether gay or straight, the conversation will inevitably turn to their sexploits and the fire service is in no way an exception to this rule.
Who did what, to whom, and where at the weekend is commonfold.
The size of the breasts, the wanton nature of the act itself, having to run for cover as bus shelters aren’t the most private of locales is all discussed in minutia.
Do I laugh? Yes. Most of the time it’s quite funny.
Do I have anything to add or share?
No, because even if I did get up to anything, my business is exactly that, and not for broadcast
Occasionally I go ‘out with the lads’ for a few pints and, in honesty, the first few hours are a hoot. But as the beer begins to flow, and sobriety becomes a loose memory pissed into the urinals at Harry’s Bar, the lads become… well… lads. And there are women about.
Now as much fun as this is as a spectator sport; watching increasingly inebriated straight lads flirt with equally inebriated ladies whilst I mind the bags and coats gets kinda ‘meh’ and I usually make my excuses and leave.
I’ll hear about it in the morning.
But then again, it’s not exclusively a fire service or straight phenomenon either.
A night out or in with the lads at some point will resort to the same thing. “He’s on Grindr”, “huge cock”, “been there, done that” etc, to the random “WOOF! He’d get it”, to the celebrity/sportman/random on the street.
Again, do I have anything to add or share?
And then it strikes me.
Is there something wrong with me?
In these situations I will occasionally point out someone on the TV and suggest that he’s attractive, but my heart isn’t in it. I just can’t get into that frame of mind with someone I will never meet.
Am I jealous?
And eventually is returns… is there something wrong with me?
Now on paper it should work.
I’m 42, not really THAT old. I’m single, work out (in no way am I trying to suggest that I have a perfect body – the constant trips to the gym in the vain hope that my uniform trousers will one day fit me again is testament to that!), I’m openly gay, and a fireman.
This should work.
But with the three-year anniversary of my last date looming, it would seem that it certainly does not.
So, what’s up?
Insanely attractive friends will joke – “face, personality & bitch-tits” are the main reasons.
Less helpful ones usually reply with with the fairly insulting, “no way”, “I can’t believe that”, “what are you doing wrong?” (well if I knew that I would sort it dickhead) and even occasionally “you’re lying”. As if the only way they can possibly comprehend this complete violation of their vision of a perfect world is because I’m clearly making it all up. Thank you very much.
Case in point, I have a friend who is your classic, stocky, cropped, charismatic Irish bear. As such he is needlessly popular, socially hectic and never shy an admirer or nine, but has the attitude of “if it happens to me, it has to happen to everyone else”.
Sadly life isn’t that generous.
“You’re clearly giving off the wrong signals” is another one – like I go to the pub and hang about with mates with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a wasp? And just how many signals can be given off from a photograph on a website or more dubious/desperate on smartphone apps?
Another favourite is “they’re all clearly intimidated by you”. By me? Are you serious? Have you MET me? I am about as intimidating as a tray of spoons. Besides I know some HUGE guys, wall to wall muscles with a frown and attitude to match, who are constantly surrounded by an orbit of acolytes.
Now, I know and understand that everyone is different, and that attraction is completely a matter of taste. And in an infinite universe, EVERYTHING must be possible. As such there has to be someone who defies everything, the exception to every rule. As Tom Stoppard wrote “ever coin, when spun, has an equal chance of coming down tails as heads. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that forty coins, spun consecutively, come down tails forty times”.
Maybe it’s just bad luck.