Published in May issue 2011
Are we Drugs or Puppies? By Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
If only there was a relationship rehab we could go to in order to take the time away from reality, to allow our bodies to expel it all. A place where reality just sank into the background and time kind of stops so that our blood can circulate over and over again until all the love has seeped out our pours with our sweat. Somewhere we can deal with being singled… where we can stand up one by one and say “Hi, My name is Juanne-Pierre and I have been dumped”.
Love can actually be measured in our brains. It is proven and tested that when in love a certain part of the brain activates a euphoric stimulation. Quite similar to the rush one would get if one were to hit back a line of cocaine. So is love really just an addiction? And how do we cut the habit?
One beautiful evening at a dinner party, at a friends home who was much older than myself, I was told that guys in their twenties are like a drug. All of the older guys admitted to being recreational users. Indulging in the bliss of the naïve twenty something life only momentarily, for a taste, for a rush and before you know it they are back to there own lives. Intrigued by the whole comparison I wondered, could a man in his forties and a guy in his twenties ever really find a way to be on the same track? Is that love real? And who is the drug and who is the substance?
Now if we break down a user we can begin to get a clearer understanding of exactly what they are using. So someone addicted: will do anything for what they want, will lie to the people closest to them about their addiction, will sneak it in whenever they can, will experience a change in their exterior appearance
The substance, on the other hand, can be classified exactly as what it is, a substance. The user in turn makes it into whatever they want it to be. So the man in his forties is the user and the guy in his twenties is the substance? Can the two not just have fallen in love?
The men at the table are quick to remind me of the love heroin and a heroin addict form. That really special bond that only comes from true addiction. The user loves using heroin and the heroin loves being used. This seems extreme. Way too extreme. Am I to believe that I am like heroin? So what? In a few years we will go off, and then we are safe to use for more than just recreation? Did we not deserve more respect than that? And who exactly is determining our worth based on our age?
After slating my last relationship, the men felt the need to throw salt in the wounds by informing me that the twinks are the one’s for sex. The twinks are the really good drugs and I am by no means age appropriate to be classified as a twink anymore. I am way too old to be a twink? I knew this but it still sucks to hear it said to my face. Apparently guys in their twenties are split in two. So then exactly what am I to older men…?
A puppy! I am a sugar daddy’s puppy. I am there purely for entertainment. Once I grow to become a dog I will be set free on a farm somewhere, to roam the grounds with all the other dogs.
So… now I am a heroin-pushing puppy?
Then where is my owner? If I am a puppy where is my keeper? Why am I sitting with a group of older men on my ace? Am I the ugly puppy, the last one in the box, the runt with the dirt patches that’s really part of my coat?
After their laughter starts to subside they build up anticipation for their response. Apparently, I am still alone because I am a puppy that bites. That wild puppy with the bouncing personality, chewing anything it feels needs to be chewed. Urinating where the territory needs to me marked. That puppy everyone loves and everyone hates. The feral beast that is just untamable and completely wild.
I was humbled by the acute observation and down right honest opinions, even if in the end it does turn me into a vivacious terror puppy with heroin strapped to the waist. Who can say no to that? But who can’t see that that will be bad for them? It does seem a little dangerous…
So are relationships a little misplaced, in their general sense of propriety, based on whom we are supposed to be dating? And if so, who is the one deciding what is best in any given relationship in terms of age, skin, creed and sex? Relationships always consisted of two people and I was always under the impression that it would be those said people who would decide exactly how there relationship will pan out. Don’t we set the rules anymore?
Maybe after all of it we are actually the ones addicted to our older lovers. Maybe we are addicted to the torture of loving someone completely unattainable. So from the viewpoint of the twenty-something guy, maybe older guys are the brand new designer drugs…
Or maybe, just maybe, some of us really are just wild puppies and wild dogs, destined to run free until we find someone just as wild to run with.
Juanne-Pierre de Abreu is a single, aspiring writer living in Cape Town. He has bounced from Johannesburg to Durban back to the City of Gold, off to Cape Town back to Jozzie and finally settling in the Mother City, or at least for the foreseeable future. He has been on search across the country looking for love. Does love exist? Do we all deserve love? And if found, how long do we have it for?
Published June 2011
A Slice of Gay Pie:
Are We Really Ever Looking?
In Cape Town, a city that acts like a doorway in which the entire world passes through during summer, we are left wondering how many viable possibilities are there to fall in love? When beautiful men from all over the globe crowd our city streets like a battalion of sardines during the July rush, the options for variety are insurmountable however is love ever an option? Are holiday romances devoid of any emotional attachment or affiliation? Or is that romance as real as a glossy blood red toffee apple at Ratanga Junction, sweet, delicious and a must-have but when it’s devoured it is devoured. When looking for love, are we ever really looking?
If our love is like a well and each man that comes along has some water, will there be any left for the man that deserves the water? Similarly, should we be so careless as to take others water just because we can? In relationships the water is passed back and forth which keeps both wells full. In a codependent relationship, one will always be taking more and not replenishing. However, some men offer too much water and never take any back for themselves. With all this back and forth and tug of war, we are left to believe that a relationship is based on a give and take method, and this made me think of sex. Does sex ever really mean more when it is with someone you love? In a time where no one has affairs to remember, where asking for a name comes at the end of coming, and kissing on the mouth is debatable I wonder, when did we take the road to perdition? Why have we all forsaken passion for lust? And when did Tiffany stop serving Breakfast?
I have two contrasting stories for you:
Two boys met in a club, both the same age, both partying like crazy and both smolderingly good looking. One thing led to another and then by the end of the night they were back at one of the guys’ home. They fell asleep. They did not have sex. The next few days they got together and went for lunches and made out like teenagers but waited to have sex. When that night finally arrived they fumbled over each other, things were awkward and it was just bad sex. Is this the red light? Is this a sign? And should they have waited till now?
The other couple met in a bar. They hooked up the first night they met and both of them thought it would be left there. One was a notorious twinkiniser, successful, mature, refined and the other was a thrifty boy with a quick wit and gorgeous smile. Their chance encounter was to be the mature mans fun and the thrifty boys rebound, however their minds would prove them wrong. Thinking about each other everyday the two could not resist the pull of the other. What started out as a rebound/fun turned into real love… Is this just a fairytale? Would the point that they fell in love be different if I told you that today they are not together? Does a companionship need to be everlasting in order for the love to be considered real? And does sex ever really play apart in determining what a relationships outcome will be?
We have all given up the quest for love and adopted a quest to climax, abandoned osculation for mutual masturbation and forsook the bond between two men for the bondage of three. Has the diary of dating decorum been lost on our generation or is the idea of two men dating before tea bagging just lame.
In a city notorious for one-night stands and dark bar hook-ups, of quick relationships and relentless chasing, of beach time bonking and sweaty sauna sex, I threw down the gauntlet and went to watch a movie on my own. I walked to the Labia, bought my ticket, scooped up some popcorn and relished in the relationship I have. The one I have spent twenty-eight years building. We are far too important to give ourselves away to any man that asks, and when we spend time alone we remember just how important we are.
Dinner and a movie me up guys! I am old school that way and show me an old school man that can hold down his lascivious nature and his licentious mind and replace it with chivalry and restraint. Where has the romance gone? Where have all the good men gone? Where’s that street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
It is all about waiting and not about looking. Love affirmations are about putting love out there and not putting our bodies out there. To restrain from lust for love is very difficult. To hold back pleasure for purpose can prove challenging. Can it be done? And is it really worth it? We need to want love in order to get it because wanting provides the fuel we all need to achieve.
Published July 2011
“A Slice of Gay Pie: Going Bi”
By Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
It’s the tale of two cities and the Ben Schoeman Highway joins the said two cities. And although they are connected there is still a great divide nonetheless. The aforementioned highway can be seen more as a river that splits the land and on one bank we have English-speaking South Africans and the other bank is cluttered with Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. Sure the river is not difficult to cross but the need to cross the river… is there actually a need? And is there a concurrency?
A bottle of Glade oil incense can be shaken up to mix the oils but the oils inevitably separate in the end, can the same be said for our two groups? Johannesburg is predominantly an English-speaking city and Pretoria is an Afrikaans-speaking city. With the pop-up of clubs like Risqué and Babylon the two languages did find a common ground, however venture closer to the CBD and you will find the language that rules that perspective area. How you might ask. Well if the car guard says “Kan ek jou kar oppas?” then you know.
In Cape Town, that distance from English to Afrikaans is quite a bit shorter. Namely the CBD is considered English, along with the Atlantic Seaboard, and everything else that surrounds the city is Afrikaans. Then in our Gay community, are the two languages on opposite sides of the same playing field? Or are we just on the same field? And do we think less of and judge a man if he speaks with an accent, in our mother tongue? Is it possible for all of us to just get along?
So one lone evening I wrapped myself up in my finest gay chic theatre wear meets skater boy outfit and marched over to the theatre to get a glimpse into the arts in terms of going bilingual.
“Lament in G” and as the name suggests, it was going to be an extremely heavy, sorrowful story presented in song and with passion. I was intrigued by the fact that it will be told in two languages and maybe this will provide another perspective on the great divide from the straight world side of things.
In the end I had the impression that the dominant person eventually engulfed the production in their language, and for good reason. He was dominating. Once removed the balance restored. Was there no way they could find an equal ground together? This made me think of the guys in our community who are seeing a man who has a different home language. Are they finding a common ground? Or is it a case of the dominant one taking over? And what effect will this divide have on a relationship?
Leaving the comforts of my own surrounding I ventured out to the north to a ‘Gat Party’. I have no idea why it is actually called that, but that is what it is called. I figured this would be a great platform on which to dive into the topic of the great divide or going bi. Alas it did not get me any closer to finding couples who have gone bi, or at least the men I managed to chat to were Afrikaans, no English boyfriend in sight. However it was brought to my attention that usually the Afrikaans guys will try adapt to the English guys world and not the other way around. Why are English guys so stubborn in terms of not venturing out of their comfort zones? And similarly, am I to believe that Afrikaans guys are so fickle that they would abandon their heritage in the hopes of finding love?
Looking around the hall and the couples dancing together, I realized how cute the boys were. They were all so healthy, wholesome, brown bread eating men and it was delicious to see. The Boers are obviously feeding something whole grain and mighty strong or I am just use to the scrawny necks and gaunt faces of the English speaking community? I was impressed with the Buffet on offer.
Tweetalige! Om twee tale te praat, is dit nie die doel van dit alles? Staat te wees om 'n man uit die skare te kies en gaan, ongeag van die huistaal, sal dit nie die ware prys in so ' n tweetalige land? Dit lyk ons kanse om dubbel op die vind van 'n liefde. En is dit nie die hele punt van verkenning oor soek so onverbiddelik vir 'n mate?
In the end I realize that we have nothing to loose from going bi, so go ahead and double your chances.
A Slice of Gay Pie: “Repentance Says What?”
By Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
Published August 2011
Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been far too long since my last confession. I have solicited my body for the solicitation of another mans body. I beseech man on top of man to satisfy my search for the love that dare not speak its name…
In Cape Town, you can’t walk down a street without passing a church or some place of worship. It is hard to miss the sheer force of spirituality that the mountain evokes and it is obvious why so many places of praise and solace exist. Visiting the library in town I pulled out the big book, the Bible. Going back into my roots as an unaware little Catholic boy in hopes that the book might provide a surprising perspective on relationships and love albeit with another man. Then it hit me in the face, the idea of Repenting.
How many of us walking around on the earth actually believe to “repent” is to say you are sorry therefore seeking forgiveness? In the broadest sense of the word, maybe on some level, it is correct to term repentance like this however this definition is mostly wrong. Knowing the true definition of "repent" could be a matter of life and death… or so the hectic bible bashers would have you believe. But is there any truth to their madness?
Now if I take out the whole sinner or saint charade. Just egg lift the entire if-you-are-bad-you-will-burn-in-hell fiasco right out of the pan. And look at the idea of repentance, as closely related to the bible as what I can understand and deduce an idea that will help all human beings - regardless of our affiliation towards God or the ridiculous rapture - the idea of repenting is far more beneficial to us growing as individual human beings towards an idea of personal fulfillment, enrichment and enlightenment. Even as gay men in same sex relationships.
So, if we are to look at repentance as asking for forgiveness, does this mean that which we are seeking forgiveness for is something we should in turn regret? Or is it a lesson that should be learnt? Therefore maybe repenting is more a form of admitting that we are actually on the wrong path and not merely needing forgiveness for our missteps.
And with that said I think we reach step one – and really the most important part - in understanding Repenting: Admitting our faults. To admit what we are doing is wrong, and by doing so, changing the actions to come. No point in saying or admitting you’re failing and still you continue to do it. That sort of discourse is more like flailing in the water for help, when you can help yourself. Is the whole idea behind repenting not about seeking change? And change for the better no less?
Keeping in mind this is all in saying that the current path you maybe on is not necessarily a bad one. And change will be good. Therefore the change I speak of is more about choosing something right over something that seems a little wrong. Like dating a good man even though the relationship is not good. He will always be a good man and he will always be wrong for you. Does this mean someone is to blame?
Step two in understanding Repenting has more to do with having the grace to forgive. No matter how big or how small, hate begets hate and the power of forgiveness is probably the most awe-inspiring emotion out of all the emotions we as human beings all possess, yet why is it we see so little forgiveness from one another? We all have the capacity to do so yet we very rarely act on it. Since when did forgiveness and apologizing become a power play of right and wrong? Who is good and who is bad?
And this brings us to number three: humble yourself. As we make the untoward life journey, in the direction of a complete human being, we will find that allowing the bullshit of fault and blame to fall to the background and looking towards tomorrow together, is surprisingly easier than one might imagine. Forgiveness is love and love is a beautiful thing…?
The book speaks to you if you allow it to but I am still not going to let someone preach to me out of it. I will, however, leave you with a quote affiliated with love that really transcends past religious protocol.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
A Slice of Gay Pie: Are we sexual tour guides?
By Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
Published September 2011
With the Majestic Mountain, sun scorched summer days and white sandy beaches, Cape Town is a city that begs visitors to visit. And they do. It takes some time before us new cummers learn how much folk love to visit us. And as a resident we will always finds ourselves with guests popping up and popping in throughout the year. And lets not forget that the guests expect to be shown a good time. Sho’ sho’ sho… Summer visitors are always easier to work with however the rainy days prove a dilemma. This all asks the very important question: Do I love the visitors and do I really want to be a tour guide?
Recently, a couple of queers came to crash at my place for a little bit of a boy’s weekend. With Mother Nature pulling a grey blanket over our heads for the weekend the entertainment highlights would have to rely heavily on nighttime extramural activities. The weekend was one full of prowling but very little attacking. So on their last night I decided to take them to a bathhouse and let them run a little free. This was the first time I felt like the tour guide, due in large part to the fact that I chose not to get involved, rather let them have their fun. And I was completely content doing so.
So what is a gay boy to do when he finds himself with his two brothers (Straight brothers of course) visiting him, a few weeks later? How is this boy’s weekend going to be different from the last? Yet at the same time how will I match it in terms of them having a blast similar to the one a group of gaggling gay guys just experienced? And how can I make it something great albeit as far removed from my own personal comfort zone?
The weather played her part. A night of grooving to some dub step and a few great restaurants seemed to wrap the experience up. But what would be the straight equivalent to a bathhouse be? Strippers club!
Women – crawling on tables, grinding on men’s laps and spinning round on polls. So when exactly did I feel like the tourist guide in this scenario? The moment one stripper lay on the table with her legs spread and proceeded to flick a bright silver round rod that pieced through her labia, and she refused to stop until I gave her some attention. I lick my lips and give a naughty grin and she moves on to perform her “magic trick” to my brother on my right.
One finds it hard not to compare the two. In one establishment we have a group of men all objectifying women or one particular girl. And in the other we have a group of men objectifying each other. Is either one really a reflection of depravity in our society or is it just adult entertainment? Should there be a place for adult entertainment? Or is it a gateway into a dark world of lust where lines of right and wrong are blurred with what just feels good? When do we go from allowing our sexuality to empower us, to sexual hedonism?
Children orientated entertainment, or family friendly atmospheres, dominate in terms of variety when it comes to our choices for fun. Restaurants with their kiddie corners and tea gardens with mini jungle gyms are almost synonymous with eating out, so where are the family-unfriendly spaces… probably near the smoking section?
When I was a young teen, movies were released with a “2-21” age restriction. It was an elite selection of films that I could not wait to be part of. By the time I was sixteen, movies could only receive an 18-age restriction and worse yet, more and more films where being made with the idea that the age restriction plays apart in telling the story. So fewer films were made aimed directly to people in their twenties. Now any film with an R rating gets my money and believe me they are actually few and far between.
I say yes to adult entertainment. I say yes to the visitors. And I say yes to boy’s weekends. The freedom to choose is what is so sweet about having establishments that may post moral issues for the community. And is South Africa not a country that has slowly been building itself on the idea of freedom for the last seventeen years?
Bring on the visitors, yo’.
A Slice of Gay Pie: What is Home?
By: Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
Published October 2011
In Cape Town, the city with oodles of possibilities however lacking any real sense of urgency, I find myself wondering if it has become my home yet? And not to say that I am wondering if I am a Cape Tonian yet or not, but how comfortable am I really in a city filled with strangers? It is the saying we have all heard before “Home is where the heart is”. So when do we know we are home? When do we know for sure that which our heart deems home sweet home is in actual fact home sweet home?
Packing a bag and heading back to Johannesburg for work, I decided it was time to put myself to the test and see whether I ran away from Johannesburg or if I ran towards Cape Town. Where does my heart lie?
I land in OR Tambo and the land is dusty and brown. The crisp air reminds me of early hours waking up for school time. A memory I care not to remember because lets face it, coming out is really when I felt my life began and I only did so in my Matric year. So with miserable memories flushing back into the foreground of my mind I am already very unimpressed to be back… ‘home’.
So would it be fair of me to totally throw all that Johannesburg is made up of, down the sink merely because it is bitterly cold, unattractive and dry? Of course not, because what makes Jozzie town an amazing city are the people, the many different faces and smiles that have all seemed to find themselves crammed into this, albeit very large, landmass. Working hard and socializing even harder. It’s the city of cool people. So why have I left? Why have I abandoned all these very amazing South African people for another city.
The sea is a biggie, the mountain too, the foreign men are a bonus but it all boils down to the fact that I can walk the streets… and no I do not mean work the streets. In Cape Town, it is possible to walk the streets of the city at night. Yes, one should always be vigilant but the walking of the streets has more to do with the fact that it is pedestrian friendly than because it is not as riddled with crime as the City of gold. If one has to walk around in Jozzie you mainly just walk past high wall after high wall, security complex after security complex. This is hardly pleasing to any of the senses when one wants to take a stroll just around their block.
Hardly half way through my project and I am missing Cape Town, missing the moisture in the air that the cool sea breeze brings in and missing the sidewalk shops that I pass on my way to the grocery shop - sans the mall. However, Jozzie is my little sin city now. The men are so delicious with their inviting attitude and friendly demur. One cannot help but to dive off the top high board towards the deep, swirling pool of men… all waiting to swim with you.
With all the back stabbing that goes on in the Mother City it was good to be back amongst men who understand what it means to be a community. It took me a while to drop the whole “Don’t touch me” attitude I adopted from that little Mountainous Seaside Village but eventually I swam. I dived down so deep I almost did not come up for air. Almost.
But Like any good Sin City, there is always a time when we have to leave. And I will say it again: There comes a time we HAVE to leave. This time of year shows us exactly how amazing change can be. Spring is in full force up here on the Highveld. The first thunderstorm has raged over our heads, flashing its bright lights and cracking some pretty fierce thunder. And the flowers are in full bloom, which fills the morning and evening air with some of the sweetest smells. Now I prepare to get my overworked ass back home. Leaving Jozzie town to return to my lazy little Village by the sea and next to the mountain. It has become my home even though it seems I am going home to nobody… but like spring from winter, we learn that something will come from nothing and with the best treatment it can blossom.
A Slice of Gay Pie: To Screw the Shrew out of You
Published November 2011
It all came about in the most unlikely place, a Mac Donald’s fast food take out joint. After a few glances over at each other, it was time for one of us to make the bold decision and say hello. But was it a bunch of mix messages?
Eventually one just needs to grab ones balls and say to the cute guy sitting across the restaurant, “Hello, my name is yada yada”.
So I did. My nerves were getting the better of me because, to be fair, I have not picked a man up in a “straight” area in such a long time. I felt like a virgin again. One awkward line lead to another before I found out that the chunky red head is not familiar to the area. Being in Jozzie as a visitor, I decided to play the out of Towner role too. Mainly because I did not know if I could trust him enough to just to go back to his place.
In my luck he was actually searching for a cruising bar but gave up and opted for getting something to eat. So I hollered at the opportunity, I mean after all the man is looking to hook up. “You want to go somewhere private?” I asked.
Fifteen minutes later we were somewhere more secluded.
Twenty minutes later, it was denim pants on the floor. That’s just the type of guy I am, going gaily forward for what I want.
Once my little feet landed back in the Mother City - my new home - leaving the flings behind in Jozzie town I wondered, in a city like Cape Town, how do you start the whole dating game over again? Straight people seem to have a formula worked out that allows for a “market” to take place, where you look at what you want and order it. The gay world, however, is far more perplexed than merely meeting a man and organizing to meet up again for a date. We are more like a market where you can have a taste before you order. In fact you can have a few tastes before you decide to invest in what’s on the menu.
With the known cruising spots and easy hook up clubs, the idea of actually trying to talk to someone before we whip it out seems rather bleak.
So all in the name of research, I stepped outside onto the streets of Cape Town with a head full of ideas on how to make dating a reality or at least try make it into something a little more fun than a mass pile up orgasm after orgasm.
A few uneventful evenings past by before I decided to hit the obvious dating sites. Eventually I started chatting to a man that seemed somewhat promising. The whole setting up a meeting time and place was kinda getting me a little hard. Eventually a date was set. A late lunch at a fairly quiet coffee shop, followed by a few light cocktails. It seemed I might have hit the Gaydar jackpot; unfortunately my excitement was expressed far too soon.
Once we got back to his place, his boyfriend was there to greet us. Now, I am not a prude and do not shy away from experiences but in this particular situation I was blind-sided. I was not aware that there was a boyfriend in the picture. So I made the frame a little larger, and went with the opportunity presented in front of me. The affair was just like a boiling kettle. It slowly starts to boil until it reaches point and then it stops suddenly. So once the sexual anxiety dissipated - for me - it was time to stop.
Almost ready to give up on the routes I have been taking to actually meet guys, I received a message from a man I had a brief interaction with a while back and then he found me on Facebook where we kept in contact. Now he wants to meet up again, finding himself in the same city as me for the first time in a long time.
Dressed in my cutest relaxed-first-date outfit, I grabbed a cab to the restaurant and waited patiently for him to arrive. The night turned out to be a classic first date. Sipping on the Vodka Martini’s and chatting about all things relevant, it was easy to write this date as one of the best dates ever. And then something odd happened. We did not go to bed together. Now it all seemed very seductive, riding on the back of his scooter in the middle of the night and I thought it was a goodie, for both of us. But a few mild messages back and forth, it all just disappeared.
Maybe the point is not to jump the gun. Maybe one should be patient. Or maybe, just stop looking; have as much fun as you can and eventually that guy will come around that just makes you laugh.