Cognitive

My big word of the day, Cognitive Dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is basically when a person(s) hold simultaneous beliefs or ideas that conflict thereby creating dissonance. Our id will not tolerate too much of said dissonance and often times something has to give to resolve the conflict. A good example is the whole fight over nudity here in SF.1  The issue has really been good blog fodder. Not only the issue itself but also some of the observations surrounding it.

It is my opinion that many involved could not resolve the idea that someone could be both against public nudity and be progressive or liberal. Others couldn’t resolve the idea that gay men who love Folsom, Dore, and all that comes with that could also support the ban. I would call that a pretty clear case of CD. Being unable to resolve the conflict resulted in lots of name-calling, outlandish statements, and overall disgust at how SF has become fascist, Republican, and/or conservative. This created an enemy that didn’t cause conflict, could be blamed, and thereby restoring balance in the id. Oh, and any gays who were vocal about supporting the ban were also labeled as uppity, prudes, outsiders, greedy, and/or selfish. Same result different variant.2  The very idea that you could be both gay and for the nudity ban was simply inconceivable to many. Some expressed their outrage just over that very fact.

There were many other issues at play here but this was something that struck me in a profound way. It was also very divisive. I had friends on both sides that were very passionate over it. Once I realized what I was seeing, I actually pulled back a bit to watch things unfold. It was like a weird science project. I swear I should have been a psychologist because I totally dig it. Lol Then you have the problem of filtering out the conspiracy nuts, the ignorant, and all of the personal bias. The latter being a mountain unto itself. So many were just randomly spewing nonsense. The mob mentality online is bound to be a thesis for someone somewhere.

Back on point, I don’t have a clue how we can work to better this. Belief is a powerful thing, as evidenced by the grip that organized religion has had over society for centuries. The problem I see these days is that belief seems to no longer be reliant on facts. For myself, without knowing the facts or details, I try not to go all holier-than-thou. That in itself would solve a lot of problems. I also try to be honest with myself if I have a personal bias over an issue. For example, on the nudity thing, some people that know me were very surprised at my reaction. They assumed I’d be all up in arms over it. And I’ll admit it did give me pause. I see no harm in nudity, or sex for that matter. I think our puritanical culture here in the US is extremely biased against sex in general. But as mentioned, it was more about a lack of respect IMO than the actual nudity. I also recognize a need for boundaries and respect for others.

The idea that a father of a slain child could be heckled by gun fanatic is another very striking and shameful version of cognitive dissonance. It was also a lot of other very shameful things but I was very sad to have read it. Anyway, the point of my little ramble today is it helps if we try to look outside the box from time to time. Instead of ignoring facts, we should embrace them. We should also realize that labels do not define us as individuals.




  1. The gun issue going on right now is another glaring example []
  2. And I am not saying there weren’t some valid arguments. There were. The problem is said arguments were never going to be strong enough to gain public support. []

Ban v.20

So looks like the nudity ban held up in court. I would have been surprised if it hadn’t. It was carefully worded. It is a shame we ended up with this law on the books but now maybe we can all move past it.1  I never supported the ban on it’s surface but I also never supported the so called nudists. Legislating personal behavior is a tricky and dangerous slope. However, I can tolerate it because it strives to strike what I believe to be a fair balance. 

It is truly unfortunate a selfish few had to ruin it for all. And yes, I say selfish because that is exactly what it was. Regardless of my theories on nudity, it is selfish anytime you decide your wants are more important than everyone else’s. The cognitive dissonance regarding the whole ordeal has sparked a post of it’s very own. (forthcoming)  But I do truly hope we can all move past it now. For something so silly, it sparked a lot of debate within the community. I wish we put half the energies invested in all this towards dealing with the homeless, skyrocketing rents, MUNI, etc. The Castro, as a gay neighborhood, is dying a slow death. It’s being strangled by greed, selfishness, and gentrification. The latter being totally unavoidable but as a whole I think the “Castro” as a gay hood will be gone in 10 years. Local businesses cannot afford rents and the neighborhood seems dead set on preventing anyone who might be a chain from opening. So spaces sit empty collecting yet more homeless encampments.

Anyway, if you really think about it, the ban pretty much maintains the status quo before all this started. You can still expose your buttocks pretty much anywhere. You can still go nude at beaches, fairs, events, parks (to a degree), etc. You just can’t park your butt in the hub of the neighborhood naked anymore. This is where we were before these guys decided to push the boundaries. I do not believe, as some have stated, that SF is becoming conservative or fascist. That is all lip service for “I didn’t get my way so I’m gonna call you names.”  SF is still a wonderfully progressive city in so many ways.

On a side rant, unfortunately, SF is facing an identity crisis. It has moved beyond a “small town” to a thriving city and the attitudes and approach to managing it are still stuck in the days of old. If SF is going to truly thrive and remain diverse, it needs to move away from viewing itself a small city and start managing itself as the city that it is.




  1. I’m sure some won’t and will lament even louder about how fascist SF has become. Seriously, just think about that for a moment. []

Down

No, not sad. Turned down. A reader asked what were1 some of the reasons I turn down dates (or sex) and how I respond. Not always an easy answer as we live in a society who’s technological advancements are outpacing our ethical ability to keep up.

I’d have to say a big reason I turn down dates or “connections” would be drugs. I get turned down just as much for not being ok with drugs. There is no place in my life for drugs and it is one of the few absolute deal-breakers for me. I have no problem with pot but I hate the smell just as much as ciggies and cigars. I could never seriously date (much less kiss) anyone who smelled like those things. Plenty of my friends do both but they also know my feelings on the subject. I can separate my ability to be friends with someone from their habits.

Even though it’s in virtually all my online profiles, I still guys that hit me up for pnp or to “smoke a bowl.” Just last week a guy got really bent out of shape on Scruff because I wouldn’t come over and top him while he was getting high.2 He was indignant and kept wanting me to explain why. After like the umpteeth message, I finally lost my temper and ignored him.

I had another younger guy hit me up and again acted all indignant that I could possible say no (for any reason) to him. Bless his heart. He was pretty but not my type at all. He couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around someone older saying no to him. On a small tangent, I seem to attract a lot more younger guys than I used to. While there are always exceptions, I’m not attracted to young guys as a norm. Hell, even when I was young I wasn’t into young guys. I guess I as I’m reaching the ‘daddy’ phase it is to be expected. And I can still be appreciative even if it isn’t my cup of tea. But if you go off on a rant about how you’re basically god’s gift to me because your young and pretty, well that ain’t gonna buy you any points. 

As to how, I usually try to take the sting out of it by politely declining the interest along with a small tidbit of conversation. The tidbit often helps diffuse the awkwardness and allows us to move past it. Whether online or in person, I try to be respectful and polite when I can. I say when I can because there are times I can’t always reply. And it doesn’t always work but that’s how I try to handle it. As I’ve always said, I recognize the distinction between being attracted to someone and being accepting of someone. Just because I don’t wanna swap spit doesn’t mean I can’t be civil or even chat with you. We might even end up friends. I also try not to be the guy who say’s he’ll call and never does. If I ask for your number, it is because I earnestly want to see you again. If you offer me your number and I know it’s not gonna happen, I usually try to politely decline. I’d rather you take a small offense up front than expect a call that never comes. I haven’t always been able to carry thru on this last one but I’m getting better at it.

Sometimes, I just ignore online requests. Especially if it is obvious the person hasn’t even read my profile. Besides that, there are times when I can’t possibly reply to everyone. Be it too many responses, I’m only online for a few minutes, the person is thousand of miles away, whatever the reason, it’s just simple math. As more apps and ways to connect instantly emerge, it makes it harder to answer every single point of interest. Ignoring responses that don’t interest me can be just as effective as a reply. As mentioned in a previous rant, rejection can be hard but often unavoidable. I don’t take it personal if someone doesn’t reply to me. I don’t get bent out of shape. I can be disappointed w/o being bitter over it.

Beyond that, I don’t really have a big revelation. It really depends on the individual and the connection I feel. I try to be polite and honest.

I can’t tell you why others turn me down because I don’t ask. If there isn’t a match, the reason is irrelevant.




  1. I seem to be getting a lot questions lately. Is there some sort of Q&A meme going around? Not that I’m complaining mind you… []
  2. There is also my job to consider. It opens up several tricky ethical questions that I’d just rather avoid all together. []

Attention

I had such a good time at the annual Boys with Balls charity. It’s a bowling adventure filled with around 300+ shirtless gay men. How could it not be fun?! Anyway, I got a lot of attention this year. I guess the new muscle mass is working. Seriously, I was a bit surprised how many random guys flirted with me this year. I mean you can’t go to an event like this and not flirt w/someone but it was still very nice and a pleasant surprise.

I’m a huge flirt, no surprise there. One guy I had flirted with (but had never seen before in my life) came up behind me in the bathroom and basically sniffed me all over. He did other stuff too but that is a bit off topic. lol I bring it up because while he was grabbing me, I caught a glance of myself in the mirror. With him standing behind me, I had more objective view of my body size and shape. I was pleased. I’m really developing an appreciation for my new size and look. As I shift further and further away in my mind from the old me to the current me, I’m getting happier with how I look. I’m proud of how much work I’ve put into it and glad I can objectively learn to appreciate the results.

I kept running into this shorter hot scruffy guy that I’ve always had the hots for. I literally ran into him. Recognizing it was him, I took advantage of the happenstance and kept “bumping” into him all night. We both laughed and had fun with it. I was totally flattered that he flirted back and it definitely lifted my spirits. (Remind me to tell you about the big burly Texan who latched onto me and then his follower kept giving me daggers for looks the rest of the night) I am a total sucker for a big smile and his was infectious and lit up his whole face. Naturally, my heart (and other parts) fluttered around him.

Imagine my total surprise when hottie looks me up on FB afterwards!  We continued to flirt and he expressed a desire to go a little further in our “bumping.” I was all too eager to agree. But here is the funny part. As the conversation unfolded, it became apparent he’d always thought I wasn’t into him. The irony is I thought the same thing of him! We’d seen each other around from time to time. I’d always made a point to acknowledge or say hi to him. I never got an indication that he was really interested. He’d always say hi back but it just seemed rather cordial. I was seriously befuddled that he could have possibly thought I wasn’t into him.

And, of course, I’ve been mulling it over constantly since then. lol I pride myself on being friendly and ‘approachable’ so naturally I’m kicking myself as to how I could have given the impression I wasn’t interested. Am I becoming to focused at the gym? Have I started presenting myself as unapproachable w/o knowing it. I enlisted the help of friends, who were perfectly useless. lol I say that w/love because they can’t see me objectively so asking them was pointless. It’s eating at me now of course. And I’ll keep picking at it till I resolve it in my head at some point.

Anyway, as luck would have it, he is usually a top as well. I say usually because, well you know…

We had a great time and he was just as much fun as I expected. (Even more actually)  Of course, in a city full of bottoms I keep running into all the tops. *sigh*

42 Again

For some reason the original post is screwed up. If you try to load it, it says it’s not found. So I reposted. Sowwie.

Yes, you guessed it, yours truly is 42 years old today. I’m finally 42, the meaning of life, everything.1

I don’t have a whole lot to rant about on it. I’m 42. Ok, next? It’s no secret I don’t make a big production over my birthdays. It’s just a marker on a day just like pretty much every other day. I’ve always been ok with aging. I like who I am and being in my ‘daddy’ phase suits me nicely. hehehe

Of course, my number chart says this is supposed to be a good year for me. Lord, I sure hope so. I need a good year.

I tend to procrastinate a lot about stuff I need to get done so I’m working on doing less of that this year. I’ve got lots planned for this year too. Besides, the teethes, I wanna finish pulling myself out of the financial mess I’m. That ball is already rolling. I’m gonna try to swing a cruise with two of my besties as well. I haven’t been on a real vacation in years and am way overdo. I need to get away from it all and just enjoy myself. Said cruise depends on the finances being in better shape of course. It isn’t till November so I have some time. And knowing I need to make a deadline will help keep me motivated, hopefully.

I’m also refocusing on taking better care of myself as a whole. The gym of course is a big part of that as well. I never had the habit of pampering myself growing up so it was something I had to teach myself as an adutl. I was just getting into it prior to the last LTR and I miss it. I haven’t done a whole lot just for me in such a long time, it feels almost selfish at times now. Being broke will do that to ya. lol

The biggest change is I wake up happy again. I’ve always prided myself on how I wake up every day basically happy and in good spirits. That went away for awhile and I missed it. I’ve noticed a revival and I can’t tell you how much I missed it. I feel like a spark has come back that went dim. Of course, having a 65lb bulldog that loves and depends on me doesn’t hurt none either. I’m never sure who gets the most joy out of us being together. He never fails to make me feel loved.

That’s about it. I’m looking forward to my 42nd year. I hope it’s a good one and I continue to grow and learn about myself.

:-)

42

Yes, you guessed it, yours truly is 42 years old today. I’m finally 42, the meaning of life, everything.1

I don’t have a whole lot to rant about on it. I’m 42. Ok, next? It’s no secret I don’t make a big production over my birthdays. It’s just a marker on a day just like pretty much every other day. I’ve always been ok with aging. I like who I am and being in my ‘daddy’ phase suits me nicely. hehehe

Of course, my number chart says this is supposed to be a good year for me. Lord, I sure hope so. I need a good year.

I tend to procrastinate a lot about stuff I need to get done so I’m working on doing less of that this year. I’ve got lots planned for this year too. Besides, the teethes, I wanna finish pulling myself out of the financial mess I’m. That ball is already rolling. I’m gonna try to swing a cruise with two of my besties as well. I haven’t been on a real vacation in years and am way overdo. I need to get away from it all and just enjoy myself. Said cruise depends on the finances being in better shape of course. It isn’t till November so I have some time. And knowing I need to make a deadline will help keep me motivated, hopefully.

I’m also refocusing on taking better care of myself as a whole. The gym of course is a big part of that as well. I never had the habit of pampering myself growing up so it was something I had to teach myself as an adutl. I was just getting into it prior to the last LTR and I miss it. I haven’t done a whole lot just for me in such a long time, it feels almost selfish at times now. Being broke will do that to ya. lol

The biggest change is I wake up happy again. I’ve always prided myself on how I wake up every day basically happy and in good spirits. That went away for awhile and I missed it. I’ve noticed a revival and I can’t tell you how much I missed it. I feel like a spark has come back that went dim. Of course, having a 65lb bulldog that loves and depends on me doesn’t hurt none either. I’m never sure who gets the most joy out of us being together. He never fails to make me feel loved.

That’s about it. I’m looking forward to my 42nd year. I hope it’s a good one and I continue to grow and learn about myself.

:-)




  1. Bonus points if you get that. lol []

Pics

Someone on FB asked me the other day why I don’t post many pics anymore. Well, I said some time ago I was pulling further away from FB. And while I haven’t made the break completely, I just don’t feel the need to give them my data to harvest. And with the recent Instagram purchase scandal, that decision was reaffirmed. I do still post random pics but mostly of Cooper and/or pics shared by others of me already on FB. Ninety percent of my activities there are commenting on friends stuff, my blog updates, news stories I comment on, and Foursquare updates. As FB pushes more and more to share all our data, I am sharing less and less. I’ve already begun going thru and unliking pretty much every page or commercial site I ever “liked.” The bombardment of ads increases more and more every month it seems.

So if you really wanna see more pics of me you’re gonna have to jump over to Google++ from time to time. I moved all my pic storage to picasa before Goolge+ came out but now that it is all nicely integrated, I like it even more. I get tons and tons of free storage and the extra storage is a fraction of the cost that sites like flickr charge. There is no way I can post all the pics I take to my blog w/o overloading my subscribers email boxes. lol I am working on a photo album link to pop up on the blog sidebar though. (If you want to add me on Google++, click the sidebar link to my profile there.)1

On a slight tangent, I’ve noticed several friends and blog buddies pulling away from FB as well. Some have deactivated their accounts all together while most have just logged out for extended periods of time. I discovered this week even my roomie has ditched FB for awhile. I guess I’m not the only one tired of the data harvest that is FB these days. That is pretty much all it is now. They’re saving grace is user volume. But like myspace, they might wake up one day and find themselves irrelevant. More and more of my friend list is making the jump to Google++.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to ditch FB completely.




  1. Keep in mind, I do not add profiles w/porn or nudity. I have no problem with either but it is not the purpose of my social profile. []

Gubbmint

I am soooo tired of the shrilling over the guns in this country. Seriously, even some of my own friends have fallen off the deep end w/some of their comments about gun rights. And the cognitive dissonance to trump up reasons to avoid enacting stronger controls is just dazzling to behold. As a preface, I grew up on a farm with plenty of guns. We had a variety of rifles, shotguns, and occasionally even a few handguns. I also work for a law-enforcement agency. I am as pro-gun as can be. That being said, I am also pro-responsibility.

You do not need a high-powered weapon that pumps out bullets in microseconds. You cannot come up with a single valid reason, other than selfishness1 to validate a need for such things. There may have been a time when we as a society could live w/o such restrictions but that time is long past. And for that matter, the 2nd amendment does not give you unrestricted rights to any type of firearm. It refers to a well regulated militia, keyword regulated. The government can and has regulated the types of weapons that are legal/carry in this country for decades.

POTUS is not “after your guns.” This is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard so far. The conspiracy theories I’ve heard are beyond crazy. For the record, this POTUS has done less than any recent sitting prez in memory regarding gun regulations. The fact that he has been pushed into coming up with some sensible gun regulations after repeated tragedies does not make him ‘after your guns.‘ Many of the proposals put forward were already in a previous assault-weapons ban that expired recently. The world kept turning and people still had guns while the ban was in place. The rest helps close loop-holes so felons, mentally-ill, etc cannot get access to weapons they shouldn’t have. Getting a background check for all weapons sales is not unrealistic in any fashion. You’d think this would be a no-brainer.

Then we hear the argument, if we take the guns away, the killers will still kill. Really? So should we also do away with laws that prevent murder? People are still getting murdered so why have a law right? Again, this argument would be more relevant if we were talking about banning all guns. We aren’t. You can listen to all the rhetoric and lies being pumped out by the NRA and the crazies, or you can look at cold hard facts. Restricting access to types of weapons in no way infers the government is after all weapons. You’ll still be able to legally buy a gun to protect yourself. You just won’t have access to weapons that pump out rounds and rounds of bullets every minute.

Lastly, the only possibly relevant reason you could argue for keeping assault weapons would be to protect yourself from a tyrannical government. Sounds simple on it’s face. But let’s look at that for a moment. When the 2nd amendment was written the government was on equal footing with its citizenship when it came to weapons. Beyond cannons, the government had pretty much the same weapons as everyone else. It took minutes to load said weapons and the range was quite limited. That couldn’t be further from the truth today. The reality is your ‘gubbmint’ has enough automated firepower to wipe out entire cities w/o a single soldier setting foot on the ground. If the government really wanted to come after its citizens, it could. We haven’t lived in an age of equal footing regarding armed rebellion pretty much since the civil war. Those days are behind us. And to think otherwise, is more than foolish. So this idea that you need assault weapons to protect you from the government is flawed logic at its finest.

If you add all the civilized countries on the entire planet together, we still out-number them in gun deaths almost 10-1. You can lie to yourself and others about your reasons, but common sense will prevail in the end. It may not prevail right away or even during this administration, but it will eventually. The question is how many more people (and children) have to die needlessly before we wake up as a country and act responsibly?




  1. or naked male insecurity []

Reject

After my last rant, I remembered an email a reader had sent me previously about rejection. He basically asked how I handled rejection.

Learning to handle rejection can be a hard lesson in life. I struggled with it a lot as a young man. Not to say I’m immune to it now, because I’m not. Rejection is part of life. There are still times when it stings. You cannot get thru this world w/o facing rejection in some form or fashion. It is how you handle the rejection that defines your character and growth as a man (or woman).

The hardest and often longest struggle is overcoming your own insecurities. This is often a lifetime goal that will probably never go away. It may get better but it’s always there. We all have insecurities. Yes, read it again. We all have insecurities. And we are often hardest on ourselves. I can’t give you any specific answer here. You first have to be objective enough to recognize said insecurities first. Then, and only then can you begin to work on them. But to realize everyone has them goes a long way to help you feel less alone about it.

What you should avoid is going down a path of ‘what’s wrong with me?‘ should you be rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, it just means there isn’t a match. No one is everyone’s type and vice-versa. In regards to sex or romantic interest, attraction is a two-way street and if it isn’t both ways then rejection is bound to happen. Of course, it stings, especially when it is someone you are really attracted to. But that in no way diminishes who and what you are. I can speak from experience. I used to internalize it something awful. I’d get down on myself assuming I wasn’t handsome enough, hung enough, buff enough, masculine enough, the list goes on and on. The reality often had nothing with what I was projecting.

Case and point, I used to have the hots for this tall older buff guy when I was living in Colorado. In my eyes, he had it all. He was handsome, hung, articulate, and buff. I’d follow him around like a puppy when I saw him at certain “haunts.” He was never rude or mean to me but he made it plain that he wasn’t interested. I was so dejected. To say I beat myself up over it would be an understatement. At it’s worst, my mood would get so bad when I ran into him I’d often leave.

Be it pity or just kindness, he sort of reached out and befriended me. After we became friends I quickly discovered he had a penchant for young, smooth, pretty blond boys. I mean this was pretty much his only attraction range. There was nothing wrong with me, I was simply not his type. As time progressed, I discovered the same insecurities in him that I had. If he got rejected by a point of interest, he would go into a funk no less severe than my own. It was quite an eye-opening experience and was one of the first times I started looking beyond my insecurities to the bigger picture. He also let me know that he did in fact befriend me because I never pushed it too far. He knew I liked him but because I never tried to force myself on him, he appreciated it.

While not every situation will be this cut and dry, that isn’t the point. The point is that you can’t be everyone’s type. And just because someone declines interest doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.1 And just because you see someone as being ‘the it’, that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with the very same issues.




  1. And frankly any person who would try to indicate it is your fault, isn’t someone you wanna know anyway. []

Profile

I was cleaning some really old files off my webserver the other day and I stumbled upon an edit file of old profile info I used to post on AOL.1   I had a habit of saving my profile descriptions. I’d often just copy/paste the same profile info as necessary across different sites. Anyway, I was a little disappointed after perusing some of the content. I had forgotten some of the disrespectful things I used to put in my profiles. Granted, I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful but that really isn’t the point. Intentional or not, referring to a whole race of people as being off-limits is offensive. The same goes for “not fats, no fems, etc.”

While I did eventually see the error of my ways, I’m sad to say many have not. You only need peruse pretty much any online social site to see guys posting the same type of comments. And don’t even get me started on the over-use of ‘masculine-only.‘ That is a rant all to itself. We’ll save it for a rainy day.

Anyway, whether you intend it or not, it is offensive to put such things in a profile. I’ve probably ranted on this subject before but it bears repeating. Instead of telling the world what you’re not into, focus on what you are into and keep it positive. Leave out the negative comments as it only serves to make you look like an ass. And it often makes you less appealing to prospective suitors. After all, the old saying goes ‘you catch more flies with honey...’

*

After I wrote this I found the original post on the subject. How funny I gave it the same title. I guess my mind still thinks the same way.




  1. That’s America Online for all you youngin’s out there. []